Please Don't Eat the Artwork


Memory Collages


The inspiration fro this project came from Artsy Artful Amy (a fantastic blog full of excellent resources and ideas!). I wanted to expose my 5th graders to an art making process that relied heavily on personal connections, meaningful experiences, and story telling. When they (hopefully) take art in middle school, these factors will inform their creative process and I thought that introducing these concepts now would really give them a great opportunity to begin thinking about deeper ideas and meaning.

We began by brainstorming and coming up with an idea for a memory. Students made lists of people who were important in their life, why those people are important, and a memory involving one or more of the important people. If someone had taken a picture of that memory, what would be in the picture? These collages became a snapshot of time and something the kids really connected with.








Hitting a pinata:


x002 (2)

Check out the pencil shavings used as a campfire:









Dinner at Olive Garden:


Another pinata!:


She used a hole puncher to create rain






These were intended to be 2D works but one creative student had the brilliant and creative idea to make his pop up and many others followed suit.


Birthday party at a pool:


Next time I do this project I will be sure to use smaller paper and work more on the initial idea and sketch with the students. Overall, this project was pretty successful and I think that if my 5th graders weren’t suffering from such a severe case of senioritis they would have enjoyed the creative freedom much more.  With only a month left of school who can blame them!

Author: artwithmsk

Hello! My name is Ms. Katzin and I am an art teacher at an elementary school near Atlanta, Georgia. Teaching art is my passion and I love what I do!

8 thoughts on “Memory Collages

  1. This is actually kind of a challenging idea. I couldn’t begin to draw out an important memory to save my life! Their accompanied letters are absolutely adorable! Smart kid making it 3-d! Hooray for 5th grade senioritis. Haha. Maybe you should buy them some Warheads, Ms. K.

    • 😉
      The idea was pretty challenging because students had very little direction as far as the product or outcome of their design. This was a truly process based project and although it was a challenge, many students were successful and created awesome work.
      P.S. Warheads are not for children and shall henceforth be hidden away so none can be stolen out of my desk!

  2. Ahh…so that’s how you spell canoeing. Haha.

  3. These are very beautiful scenes! Your students are highly imaginative–especially when it comes to representing a memory, there is a lot more creativity being invested into the artwork to render it as best as possible. How did your students make the collage pieces?

    • Thank you! The collage pieces were made by creating painted paper. Students explored color mixing to create tints and shades, secondary colors, and intermediate colors. They used tempera paint on 12×18 white paper. While the paint was still wet, they used paint scrapers to create texture. When the paper was dry they cut and tore it to create their shapes. They even had the option to trade colors with their classmates. One class had the opportunity to use some scraps of old wallpaper; there are a couple of pictures featured. I love using painted paper with k-5 — I think it really makes the projects more unique and is a great way to reinforce color theory. 🙂

      • That’s so true! I think giving children a chance to create their own materials makes for truly inspired collage artwork. Kids respond to the things they make and I think they take more time to create the pieces when they think of the time they invested into making the material in the first place (as opposed to simply cutting any sort of disposable paper material). Great job!

  4. Do you know the type of paint scrapers you use by any chance?

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